Breaking the communication barrier: guidelines to aid communication within pair programming

Mark Zarb (Lead / Corresponding author), Janet Hughes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Pair programming is a software development technique with many cited benefits in learning and teaching. However, it is reported that novice programmers find several barriers to pairing up, typically due to the added communication that is required of this approach. This paper will present a literature review discussing the issue of communication, and through a series of observations with industry-based pairs, will derive a set of guidelines which aim to help novice pairs experience better communication within their pairs. An evaluation of the guidelines with undergraduate students is then reported, showing that exposure to these guidelines improved the self-perceived communication experience of novice pairs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-151
    Number of pages32
    JournalComputer Science Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Communication
    • Evaluation
    • Guidelines
    • Pair programming

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • General Computer Science


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